Sunday, June 17, 2018

Isaiah 63

Today's reading in our daily plan is Isaiah 63. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • This passage combines both prophetic statements on God's vengeance and prayers to God for redemption. The first verse starts with a question and asks who is coming from Edom, with dyed clothes from Bozrah. Bozrah was the capital of Edom and the Edomites were people that took advantage of the Israelites when Jerusalem fell captive to Babylon. Edom is brought into this context because it is implied that they were judged. God answers the question and says that he is the one coming from Edom, while adding that he "speaks in righteousness" and is "mighty to save". It's important to note this description because while God is declaring that he is a mighty judge, he at the same time is mentioning the fact that he is also a mighty savior.
  • Verses 2-6 continue to dive deeper into God's vengeance and states that he "trodded the winepress alone". This metaphor explains that Jesus alone is the one that can judge his enemies. Verses 6-6 emphasize this point by pointing that God judged alone and had no other outside help.
  • The remaining chunk of the passage, verses 7-19, is a prayer to God from an exiled point of view. The prayer starts by talking about God's goodness and great mercies and calls back to the time of Moses when God was close to his people and protected them from harm. The prayer ends with a cry out in pain for God to return and a call for restoration.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • There is a lot of talk on judgment within this passage, which gives further insight into the character of God. From verses 2-6, it is made clear that God will be judging humanity and no one else has the same power or right to do that. However, in verse 4, the subtle word usage between "day of vengeance" and "year of redeemed" is key. God in no way enjoys punishing sinners but he does enjoy bringing redemption to those who believe in him. The "day of vengeance" is necessary but short in comparison to "year of redeemed" where God's abundant and everlasting grace is represented.
  • The prayer that happens in verses 7-19 reveals that no matter how tough and heartbreaking a situation might be, there is always room to look to God and thank him for what he has done.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Are you going through a tough time in life where you are hurting or stuck? Isaiah shows that regardless of how hard the situation is, God is still greater. Rather than close yourself off in a time of pain, reach your arms out to God and praise him for still being loving, good, and gracious.